Saturday, February 14, 2009

How W spent our $$$ in Iraq

Inquiry on Graft in Iraq Focuses on U.S. Officers
Published: February 14, 2009
Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.

My favorite passage:
As part of the inquiry, the authorities are taking a fresh look at information given to them by Dale C. Stoffel, an American arms dealer and contractor who was killed in Iraq in late 2004.

Before he was shot on a road north of Baghdad, Mr. Stoffel drew a portrait worthy of a pulp crime novel: tens of thousands of dollars stuffed into pizza boxes and delivered surreptitiously to the American contracting offices in Baghdad, and payoffs made in paper sacks that were scattered in “dead drops” around the Green Zone...
What a way to run a reconstruction effort!

How much $$$ of the hundreds of billions were diverted?
Beats me.

Recall: Former Texas Governer Bush did have an MBA from the Harvard Business School!

Desultory aside: during the primary season, particularly, much was made of "experience" and Obama's lack thereof. He seems to be making an effort to fill his cabinet with "experienced" choices...
Me? I'm not at all sure that experience, per se, is all it's cracked up to be.

The geniuses who led us into Iraq and "managed" initial reconstruction efforts - those efforts including, we now learn, "tens of thousands of dollars stuffed into pizza boxes and delivered surreptitiously to the American contracting offices in Baghdad..." - who were these people?
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney
Staff, Office of Economic Opportunity, 1969–70
White House Staff Assistant, 1971
Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council, 1971–73
Deputy Assistant to the president, 1974–1975
White House Chief of Staff, 1976
U.S. House of Representatives, 1979-1990
Secretary of Defense, 1989-1993
Donald Henry Rumsfeld
Administrative Assistant to Rep. David S. Dennison, Jr. (OH-11), 1957
Staff assistant to Congressman Robert P. Griffin of Michigan, 1959
U.S. House of Representatives, 1963-1969
United States Office of Economic Opportunity, Assistant to the President, and a member of the President's Cabinet, 1969–1970
Counselor to the President in December 1970
Director of the Economic Stabilization Program; and member of the President's Cabinet, 1971–1972
U.S. Ambassador to the NATO, 1973
White House Chief of Staff, 1974-75
Secretary of Defense, 1975-77
Member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control—Reagan Administration, 1982–1986
President Reagan's Special Envoy on the Law of the Sea Treaty, 1982–83
Senior Advisor to President Reagan's Panel on Strategic Systems, 1983–84
Member of the U.S. Joint Advisory Commission on U.S./Japan Relations—Reagan Administration, 1983–84
President Reagan's Special Envoy to the Middle East, 1983–1984
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz

U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, 1972
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs, 1977-80
State Department Director of Policy Planning, 1981-82
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 1982-85
Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, 1986-89
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, 1989-93

These are impressive resumes...
And, yes - these very "experienced" are the folks responsible for getting us into Iraq, and for "managing" Iraq's reconstruction!

Perhaps President Obama should throw the Commerce post open to competition!... Maybe post a want-ad on Craig's List?

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